Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wherebirdsmeettodie​ - Dearest Split

01. Wherebirdsmeettodie - Flower Bed
02. Dearest - It's About Time
03. Wherebirdsmeettodie - Acrylic
04. Dearest - Closer

This 4 track 7” split features two new songs from both Wherebirdsmeettodie (US) and Dearest (GER). It's being put out through Shivery MMXII Productions (Germany), Ozona Records (United States) and Age Crisis Records (Australia) in October. Both bands play a familiar blend of post-hardcore/screamo with enough subtle differences between the two artists that actually compliment rather than out-shine the other. It makes for a really great listen and although 4 tracks pass by rather quickly it is a really good pairing and it leaves me wanting more. Wherebirdsmeettodie (from Pennsylvania, US) have a fuller/cleaner production aesthetic and the quality of the mix helps a lot to really show off the nice clean guitars and brightness of cymbals amidst heartfelt screams. It's melodic, emotive and the two tracks are over way too soon despite clocking in over 3 minutes each. There's a good amount of space between the intense bursts in their material and quite impressive for a two piece! The build-ups explode and then pull back to reveal some clever instrumentation... and then yeh... they go crazy again. It’s a nice ride. Dearest (Wurzburg, Ger) sound much more live and raw than their counterparts here. The vocals are bit more upfront and easy to make out. It reminds me quite a bit of Hot Cross in that hoarse/yelling fashion and the music probably lends itself towards that band too. Dearest are a little more straight forward and less complicated than others in the genre making it more accessible for this sort of music... in the same way you might relate LaDispute or Piano's as being 'crossover' bands. This is like that. The drums are tights and quite driving, the bass is clear and really sits well in the mix holding the notes beneath all the guitar work which has some cool lead/riff's that really stand out! In short, this is a fantastic split with a lot to offer listeners. A well executed introduction to two bands which I previously did not know and now. I will proceed to order myself a copy of that 7".

Reviewed by Sean.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Lion House - Drancy

01. Support The Army; Not The Assholes
02. Come Back With All Of Your Faculties
03. Dooty Pooty
04. "I'm All Out Of HP"
05. Please Return My Daniel Johnston Record
06. AGAPE? Fuck That, PHILOS.

Lion House is a three-piece band from Kansas City, Missouri who formed in early 2014. Lion House play a killer style of post-hardcore, screamo, and emo. This is the band's debut six song EP, which was released on cassette via Work Ethic Records on July 5th, 2014. Musically, Lion House can be said to be influenced by bands such as The Casket Lottery, Who Calls So Loud, Portraits Of Past, and Twelve Hour Turn, but updated with a modern sound completely their own. Overall, this is a really solid EP. Great stuff!

Reviewed by Chris.

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Love American - Hollow Crosses

01. Sohl
02. Only The Penitent Man Will Pass
03. It's Dangerous To Go Alone
04. Waves

'Hollow Crosses' is the first release from post-hardcore three-piece Love American since they released their mini-LP 'Disquiet' back in 2012. Fans of the band will find this new EP to be worth the 2 year wait as it shows the Californians embarking on one of their most emotive efforts to date. The vocals are restless and soul-baring and are one of the most memorable elements across the four tracks whilst the guitars range from mellow to frantic to soaring across the EP. It's currently up for free download on their bandcamp and I'd recommend checking it out if you're into acts like State Faults and My Iron Lung.

Reviewed by Woody.

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Mont-Doré - Escalades

01. Easier Afterwards
02. Please Do Not Die Again
03. Inner-Schism
04. Choristes
05. Et Métérorites
06. No Place Like Home

Belgium five-piece Mont-Doré was a band I hadn't listened to before so when going into this new 6 track EP of theirs I wasn't too sure of what to expect, but I found myself to be pleasantly surprised. The slow, solemn opening guitar to 'Easier Afterwards' acts as the calm before the storm and adds an eerie atmosphere. Later in the song the band erupt into aggressive, unrelenting downpour of wrought guitars, crashing drums and throat-scathing vocals. There's definitely an essence of punk and post-hardcore present amongst the doomy screamo on offer here that brings bands like Calvaiire to mind at points. 'Escalades' is a dark, heavy and punishing collection of songs that are as well written as they are performed that’s both technical and abrasive.

Reviewed by Woody.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tours #1

Crows An Wra / Boxkite UK Tour

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die / The Hotelier / Rozwell Kid / Posture & The Grizzly US Tour

Bökanövsky / Black Love EU Tour

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Everybody Row - The Sea Inside

01. The Sea Inside
02. Coming Out Clean
03. Escape Plan
04. Keep Running

Here is the four-song debut release of Everybody Row (members of Comadre, No Babies, Know Secrets). The guitar parts, the organ riffs and the male/female vocals are amazing. Perfect 7", listen to it!

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Lizards Have Personalities - Lizards Have Personalities

01. Mononoke
02. Eta Carinae
03. A LetterTo Clotho
04. Hedonistic Calculus
05. A Letter To Lachesis
06. Monstrum In Fronte, Monstrum In Animo
07. The Last Oracle Of Luud
08. A Letter To Atropos
09. Eurynomus
10. Tartarus

I derive a sense of comfort, maybe a bit of sadness from this last self-titled album from the band Lizards Have Personalities. They're a three piece screamo band from Lawrence, KS with a very 'The Saddest Landscape' feel; passionate with a very dark/melancholy vibe. I absolutely love this band, they were a band that made me really love the way lyrics convey this sense of "Life always feels like it's going to be over with because you go through something dramatic; also providing you with this knowing fact that life always moves on if you allow it to affect you". You grow emotionally from moments like that. It helps you with situations like that, the way it carries a very fast-paced yet beautiful guitar distortion followed by the abrasive bass lines; the drumming carries a very distant sound that you are drawn to the dark side of the lyrics. The vocals are perfect for their sound because they carry a whiny plead with a screamed passion for revenge on life. Very talented people, thank you! R.I.P.

Reviewed by Joshua.

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As We Draw - Mirages

01. The Window
02. Losing Ground
03. Blackout
04. Blackmail
05. Fata Morgana
06. Denial
07. Acceptance
08. Fata Bromosa
09. Panic
10. Shipwreck
11. Limbo

This astonishing French 3 piece has produce some of the most intriguing and exciting post-hardcore I've ever heard. Period. It is at times bleak and dark, other times expertly crafted progressive/post-metal and everything in between. The range and diversity of the band is something that keeps you guessing/interested/ dizzy all the way through. Recommended for fans of Botch, Isis, Envy, Poison The Well. It's not mathy or chaotic in the sense that a lot of bands execute high end guitar trickery and crazy drumming. It's more through the subtly of arrangements, build ups, off time signatures, rhythms and breaks that the whole album shines as an epic and progressive album for the genre. Vocals are powerful, screamed and yelled in force and sometimes distantly... it's all very dramatic and adds to the impact! Brief instrumental-interludes appear in between tracks throughout the album serving as a break in between onslaughts but there's so much space (musically speaking) between what each instrument does that if you don't watch the screen or needle you would be challenged to tell if it's still one track or another. I have practically studied their incredible debut 'Lines Breaking Circles' which dropped way way back in 2010. That beast is still worth checking out but this is superior work. Everything is huge, the production is great and they've never sounded better. Bravo. The label offers a free download while we wait for the vinyl to ship. I expect that will be the definitive way to consume this. Album of the year contender.

Reviewed by Sean.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Prawn - Kingfisher

01. Scud Running
02. First As Tragedy, Second As Farce
03. Prolonged Exposure
04. Dialect Of...
05. Old Souls
06. Glass, Irony
07. Absurd Walls
08. Thalassa
09. Runner's Body
10. Halcyon Days

Prawn are a four piece emo/indie rock band from Ridgewood, Hawthorne, and Saddle Brook, New Jesrey who formed in 2007. Prawn play an infectious blend of emo and indie rock, with occasional nods to post rock. Prawn's influences are vaired but relatively easy to pinpoint. The band mixes elements of early 90's midwestern emo influenced by bands such as Mineral, Boy's Life, and Christie Front Drive with later era bands such as Casket Lottery, Able Baker Fox, and possibly Elliot within their sound. Prawn takes these sounds and modernizes them to create an amazing sound that's undeniably unique. 'Kingfisher' is the band's latest full-length LP, which is the band's first full-length release since 2012's Ships LP. On 'Kingfisher', Prawn has added an atmospheric slant to their sound which also adds a layer of complexity that wasn't present with their last LP. The band still retains their guitar crunch and melancholy vocals, which results in a really impressive listen. Overall, 'Kingfisher' is an absolute must listen for fans of Minus The Bear, The Appleseed Cast, and Weatherbox. Highly recommended! Kingfisher was released via Topshelf records on August 12th, 2014.

Reviewed by Chris.

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Chalmers - Four Songs

01. Utah
02. Biting Lip
03. Settling
04. Map's Lost

Chalmers exists as the twisting, technical, frenetic phoenix that rose from the ashes of Pennsylvania greats We Were Skeletons. While the four songs on this first release could be viewed as a continuation of the "Slint meets Hoover meets screamo" patterns of We Were Skeletons, it would be a disservice to not view Chalmers as it's own beast entirely. The opener 'Utah' is a slow burn, using heavy, discordant guitar hits to carry heartfelt lyrics. The intro riff to 'Biting Lip' is among the catchiest things Justin Pallas has written, and the fraying, tense vocal delivery positioned atop this catchy foundation creates a cool balance. There are echoes of Fugazi here as well, in the ways that Pallas shouts "I'm feeling automatic, like I'm out of control. I'm out of control – I'm listening in". 'Settling' takes a step back, creating a slightly more somber, almost desolate western vibe. All the tension is still very palpable in all these tracks, as is an urgency that propels the release forward. The last lines of closer 'Map's Lost' paint a dreary picture ("Fuck it - abandon ship. All hope is dead and gone"), but this is surely a promising start for Chalmers as they push forward into a full length.

Reviewed by Justin.

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